Webb wins AFLAC Champions in playoff

Karrie Webb beat Dottie Pepper on the first hole of a playoff to win the AFLAC Champions tournament in Mobile, Alabama, and clinch LPGA player of the year honors for the second straight year.

Karrie Webb beat Dottie Pepper on the first hole of a playoff to win the AFLAC Champions tournament in Mobile, Alabama, and clinch LPGA player of the year honors for the second straight year.

The victory at Magnolia Grove's Crossings Course on Sunday was Webb's seventh of the year on the LPGA Tour and was worth $122,000.

Webb won the playoff with a two-putt par after Pepper got in trouble when her drive trickled into the rough, leaving her in a bad lie and she was unable to advance the ball to the green.

"I've had two unbelievable years," said Webb, whose 13 wins over that period are the most in a 24-month stretch on the tour since Nancy Lopez won 17 in 1978-79. "At the end of this year, I'll sit back and relax and look back on what I've done.

"It's a great feeling to have a year like this and win the player of the year."

Webb's victory lifted her 2000 earnings to a record $1,815,053, and if she wins in the season-ending Arch Wireless Tour Championship in November, she will become the first woman to win $2 million in a year on the LPGA.

She was the first player to win $1 million on tour in 1996.

Pepper and Webb staged a dramatic head-to-head duel down the stretch of the final round. Nancy Scranton, the tournament leader the first three days, was in the mix until she bogeyed the 72nd hole, costing her a chance to advance to the playoff.

Pepper closed with a 67 and Webb a 69 as they tied at 15-under 273. Scranton shot a 72 and was one stroke back.

After making five straight pars on the back nine, Webb reeled off birdies at 15, 16 and 17 to catch Pepper at 15 under. Both missed birdie putts on 18, then waited to see if Scranton would join them in the playoff.

Pepper was first off the tee on the playoff hole - the 18th - and hit the ball in the rough.

"I was going to hit a driver but when I saw Dottie in the rough I went back to 3-wood which is what I hit all week," said Webb, who had finished second in this tournament three times. "I just wanted to put the ball in the fairway."

After Webb hit her second shot 20 feet behind the pin, Pepper's approach shot advanced only about 50 yards, well short of the green behind some small trees.

"I had the worst lie you could possibly imagine," said Pepper, who won $75,500. "The rough wasn't that long but it went right to the bottom."

Pepper reached the green with her third shot, then almost made her 30-foot (9-meter) putt for par.

That meant Webb could two-putt for the victory. She rolled the putt gently down the slope and tapped it in for the winning par, slightly pumping her fist before she retrieved the ball from the hole.

Final scores and money from the $750,000 AFLAC Champions, played on the 6,231-yard, par-72 The Crossings course (x won playoff on first hole):

x Karrie Webb, $122,000 - 69 67 68 69-273 Dottie Pepper, $75,500 - 71 67 68 67-273 Nancy Scranton, $54,250 - 65 69 68 72-274 Se Ri Pak, $34,383 - 70 70 72 65-277 Michele Redman, $34,383 - 69 68 72 68-277 Beth Daniel, $34,383 - 68 69 69 71-277 Barb Mucha, $22,900 - 66 71 70 71-278 Sherri Steinhauer, $19,550 - 68 70 64 78-280 Laura Davies, $16,256 - 73 67 72 69-281 Mi Hyun Kim, $16,256 - 69 70 73 69-281 Rachel Hetherington, $16,256 - 75 66 67 73-281 Sophie Gustafson, $13,545 - 70 72 69 71-282 Pat Hurst, $13,545 - 70 67 71 74-282 Kelli Kuehne, $12,520 - 67 72 72 72-283 Rosie Jones, $11,470 - 67 72 75 70-284 Brandie Burton, $11,470 - 70 71 71 72-284 Donna Andrews, $10,570 - 70 73 70 72-285 Laurel Kean, $10,570 - 67 73 71 74-285 Pearl Sinn, $9,985 - 71 69 71 75-286 Alison Nicholas, $9,985 - 71 68 72 75-286 Helen Alfredsson, $8,977 - 71 73 74 70-288 Meg Mallon, $8,977 - 73 74 70 71-288 Wendy Ward, $8,977 - 69 71 75 73-288 Pat Bradley, $8,977 - 72 72 69 75-288 Lorie Kane, $8,157 - 74 73 71 71-289 Akiko Fukushima, $8,157 - 75 71 72 71-289 Janice Moodie, $7,775 - 70 72 71 77-290 Charlotta Sorenstam, $7,420 - 71 79 74 67-291 Jackie Gallagher Smith, $7,420- 72 72 73 74-291 Kelly Robbins, $7,065 - 74 72 71 75-292 Maria Hjorth, $6,666 - 74 74 74 71-293 Catrin Nilsmark, $6,666 - 73 74 75 71-293 Danielle Ammaccapane, $6,666 - 72 72 73 76-293 Tammie Green, $6,280 - 69 72 78 75-294 Amy Fruhwirth, $5,982 - 77 74 70 74-295 Mardi Lunn, $5,982 - 72 74 72 77-295 Betsy King, $5,710 - 69 76 75 78-298 Liselotte Neumann, $5,520 - 82 75 71 72-300 Nancy Lopez, $5,310 - 74 77 75 76-302 Hiromi Kobayashi, $5,115 - 75 74 76 78-303 JoAnne Carner, $4,832 - 79 78 73 75-305 Dale Eggeling, $4,832 - 76 75 76 78-305

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